The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ
(crossway 2013, $15.99), Bruce A. Ware
Did the baby Jesus know the quadratic formula? Many among conservative evangelical churches might respond to the question with a quick, emphatic “yes.” After all, Jesus is God, and God knows everything, math included. However, the answer to the question is more complex than this. To give the “yes” answer with only Jesus’ divinity in view does not take into consideration his humanity. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus grew in wisdom (Luke 2:40, 52), that he learned obedience (Heb 5:8), so Christians must come to terms with every- thing the Bible teaches about Jesus, about both his deity and his humanity.
Thankfully, works like Southern Seminary theology professor Bruce A. Ware’s The Man Christ Jesus confronts us with the reality and implications of Christ’s humanity. Until believers reflect on this truth, they will not appreciate the extent to which the eternal Son humbled him- self in becoming a man.
In this 160-page treatise, Ware discusses the significance of God the Son taking on a human nature in addition to his eternal pre-existent divine nature as the second member of the Trinity. He dedicates chapter-length treatments to matters related to the exercise and expression of Jesus’ divine attributes in light of the incarnation, what it means for him to conduct his ministry and miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit, the significance of his resisting temptation as a man and the necessity of his coming as the God-man in order to die in humanity’s place, among other discussions. Christ’s humanity is not some complex abstract notion meant only for theologians to contemplate. Ware demonstrates this by including points of application to end each chapter along with a list of discussion questions aimed not only to stimulate careful thinking, but to help readers see how Jesus’ life as a man bears upon their lives.
Ware’s The Man Christ Jesus is an ideal primer for anyone willing to learn more about this sadly neglected but essential biblical truth. — review by Josh Hayes
Excerpts from the Book
- “The most pressing application from this understanding of Jesus is that the life of obedience and faithfulness that Jesus lived can genuinely and rightly be set forward as an example for how we, too, should live, precisely because the very resources Jesus used to live his obedient life are resources given also to all of us who trust and follow him.”
- “Without comprehending the profundity of the purpose of the incarnation … we will inevitably trivialize what it means to ‘do what Jesus would do’ or to ‘live like Jesus.’ How trite, until we see the heights from which he came and the depths to which which he descended in coming as the suffering Servant who would bear our sin.”
- “We will belittle the magnitude of what Jesus has done if we fail to see the kind of obedience he rendered and the extent to which he was willing to go in ensuring he fulfilled the will of the Father.”
See also this post: Follow in His Steps: Ware Talks About The Man Christ Jesus